Determining how social media interacts with other marketing efforts can help improve a retailer’s ROI and increase sales. Analyzing the relationship between social media and other marketing campaigns is made easier by the large amounts of data that can be gathered relatively easily and cheaply from a brand’s social media sites.

By leveraging the data available via social media, a retailer can look for relationships between targeted social media activity and:

  • E-commerce and site metrics such as traffic, transactions and spend
  • Sales of products shared through social media
  • Online and in-store promotion redemption
  • Seasonal activity (back to school, holiday shopping, promotional periods) including store traffic and spending patterns

As with any source of data, however, the trick in managing volume is deciding which metrics matter.

Start with data that is similar to data a retailer leverages in the offline world. If a brand regularly looks at the relationships between marketing campaigns and store visits, it might be useful to expand this by looking at:

  • The number of users announcing or re-broadcasting (re-tweeting) details of a product or a marketing campaign (e.g., a featured product or promotional codes)
  • The number of website visits launched by social media links
  • The number of new Facebook fans, Twitter followers or email subscribers in the wake of a campaign

These are not new data-gathering efforts but rather incremental efforts that leverage existing marketing campaigns and results that increase a retailer’s return on marketing investment. Add entries for social media data into existing trend analysis dashboards and tools to incorporate this intelligence into marketing strategy and company-wide planning processes.

This is the third in a four-part series on leveraging social media for more than just marketing. Please see our related insights below.

Strengthen Customer Loyalty Through Social Media
Enhancing Internal and External Decisions with Social Media
Upgrade Intelligence Gathering with Social Media

17 December 2010